SHARJAH: Lahore Qalandars, buoyed by the aggressive captaincy of Brendon McCullum but still looking to leave their mark, will face off against Karachi Kings at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium tonight.
Qalandars have so far won one match and lost two; they lost to Quetta Gladiators by 8 runs in their first match, beat Islamabad United by 6 wickets in their second, and lost to Peshawar Zalmi by 3 wickets in a low-scoring thriller.
Kings are still looking for their first win of this tournament. They lost to Peshawar Zalmi by 7 wickets in their first match and lost to Quetta Gladiators by 7 wickets in their second clash.
History is on Karachi Kingsâ€™ side. The two teams clashed twice in last yearâ€™s PSL, with the Kings winning the first encounter by 7 wickets and the second by 27 runs.
Both the teams have been overshadowed by the presence of big names such as Brendon McCullum, Chris Gayle and Kumar Sangakkara. Although the Qalandars are visibly a more aggressive side under McCullumâ€™s captaincy, the former New Zealand captain is still waiting for a prominent performance with the bat.
Chris Gayle, meanwhile, has yet to shine with the bat. With the Kings already down 2-0 in the tournament, he is riding on high expectations.
Lahore Qalandars: Brendon McCullum (captain), Sunil Narine, Umar Akmal, Yasir Shah, Sohail Tanvir, Cameron Delport, Mohammad Rizwan, Azhar Ali, Zafar Gohar, Grant Elliot, Fakhar Zaman, Bilawal Bhatti, Ghulam Mudassar, Aamir Yamin, Usman Qadir, Saif Badar, Jason Roy, Chris Green, James Franklin, Muhammad Irfan
Support staff: Aqib Javed (Director Cricket Operations), Paddy Upton (Coach), Brendon McCullum (Mentor), Shawn Bradstreet (Fielding Coach), Fawad Rana (Chairman)
Karachi Kings: Kumar Sangakkara, Shoaib Malik, Chris Gayle, Babar Azam, Ravi Bopara, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Amir, Saifullah Bangash, Shahzaib Hasan, Sohail Khan, Kieron Pollard, Ryan Mclaren, Khurram Manzoor, Kashif Bhatti, Abrar Ahmed, Usama Mir, Mahela Jayawardene, Rahat Ali, Hasan Mohsin, Amad Alam
Support staff: Mickey Arthur (head coach and team advisor), Azhar Mahmood (Coach and team advisor), Rashid Latif (team director and team advisor), Shoaib Malik (player and team advisor)